New findings in psychology and neuroscience are pushing philosophers to rethink such big questions as the relationship between mind and body, the meaning of free will, just exactly what faith is, the nature of consciousness, and what constitutes happiness. There's some evidence that issues such as free will itself reflect temperament and personality. There's even more evidence that we are terrible at predicting what will make us happy, which is why we have such a hard time finding durable happiness.

Recent posts on Philosophy

We Are All More Fact-Free Than We’d Like to Think

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on December 08, 2016 in Feeling Our Way
Facts are opinions held by the right people.

Does Free Will Exist?

Reasonable people can disagree on whether neuroscience casts doubt on free will.

Is Mild Love the New Exciting Romance?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on December 06, 2016 in In the Name of Love
Ideal love is depicted as a very passionate experience. Yet mild love seems a better indicator of enduring love. Can we admit our mild love without insulting our partners?

Media Highlights Transhumanism Politics Near End of Election

By Zoltan Istvan on December 04, 2016 in The Transhumanist Philosopher
After 731 days, I finally finished my run for the US Presidency as a transhumanist. Transhumanism was covered in a major way by the media in the weeks leading up to the elections.

The False Lure of Objectivity in Psychology

By Michael Mascolo Ph.D. on December 04, 2016 in Values Matter
You can't observe a psychological act just by looking.

Coming Home From War and Metallica’s “Confusion”

By William Irwin Ph.D. on December 04, 2016 in Plato on Pop
Though mercifully few of us have PTSD or have done a tour of duty in a combat zone, we have all been scarred. Life is a return from battle.

The Death of Facts: The Emperor's New Epistemology

By Joe Pierre M.D. on December 04, 2016 in Psych Unseen
Psychologically speaking, fact denialism represents narcissistic contrarianism, cognitive bias, and deception.
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When Robots Reign: Getting Along with Robo Sapiens

Since power can be used not only to serve yourself, but to silence those who object to how you use it, self-aggrandizement and corruption are endemic.

A Philosophy of Depression

By Neel Burton M.D. on December 02, 2016 in Hide and Seek
Pills may not be the answer.

Terrorism Anxiety Is Fueling Global Waves of Nationalism

By Bobby Azarian Ph.D. on December 01, 2016 in Mind In The Machine
Is anxiety over existential threat making people aggressive toward out-group members? Brexit and the presidency win of Donald Trump are part of a larger pattern that will continue.
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When Robots Reign: Getting Along with Robo Sapiens

Immortality lies not in identifying with any one model of Homo or Robo Sapiens, but in participating in the progression.

Fear and Voting

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
We all live in groups defined by shared fears, and shared ways of allaying those fears. Our fears therefore function as shibboleths. And thus my fears are invisible to you.

A Holiday Game For Talking Politics

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in Ambigamy
Here's the first draft of a game designed to be challenging, honest, respectful, and fair that anyone serious about their moral principles should be happy to play.

Linda The Bank Teller Case Revisited

The skill of providing answers on the basis of the meaning that is literally given to us is not typically a useful skill.

What Is Voluntary Action?

What is will? Science is beginning to unravel this mystery.

Between a Meat Puppet and a Heavenly Soul

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on November 19, 2016 in Theory of Knowledge
If we don't have a Heavenly soul, does that mean we are just meat puppets? No, and this blog explains why.

The Science Reform Effort and Its Discontents

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on November 17, 2016 in Rabble Rouser
A controversial essay by a former President of the Association for Psychological Science has evoked trenchant responses from science writers around the web.

Giving Your Heart and Selling Your Soul

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on November 15, 2016 in In the Name of Love
It seems that when love is not all you need, it is unthinkable to give your soul.

Are Your Morals Reasonable?

By Rob Henderson on November 14, 2016 in After Service
Are your morals based on reason? Research suggests they might not be.

Selfishness, Stoicism, and Epicureanism

By Michael W. Austin Ph.D. on November 13, 2016 in Ethics for Everyone
The good of deep and loving relationships with others carries with it an unavoidable vulnerability to pain and suffering, which many are keen to avoid.

Are You Living Up to Your Full Potential?

Adaptive preferences can increase life satisfaction.

Having A Child Means Giving Up Basic Needs

People need to feel autonomous. This is a dictum most people will agree to. But parenting seems to be inconsistent with personal autonomy.

Is There Consciousness in Everything?

A new volume of papers on panpsychism—the view that every physical particle in the universe harbors consciousness—discusses the roots of consciousness.

Three Cheers for Big History

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on November 04, 2016 in Theory of Knowledge
Big History offers us a unifying conception of the universe, the human condition and the sciences. As such, it deserves three cheers!

Freud: Conservative Revolutionary

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on November 03, 2016 in This Is America
Sigmund Freud was a product of his time. In a new biography, Élisabeth Roudinesco assesses Freud's ideas about rationality, sexuality, and the unconscious.

What Kind of Categorizer Are You?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 02, 2016 in Ambigamy
Some people act as though distinctions are obvious. Others explore for how to make them as distinct as possible.

Five Years on From a Grim Diagnosis—Why Is It So Poignant?

By Lucy O'Donnell on November 01, 2016 in Cancer Is a Teacher
Yes, I was given an 80 percent chance of dying in five years. My five years is up, and thanks to the incredible advances in medicine for cancer treatment, I am still well.

Voting? Your Right, Your Responsibility—Or Not

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on November 01, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
Many people question whether it’s worth the time and effort to vote in a presidential election—particularly when they have little enthusiasm or admiration for either candidate....

Why Don't We Want Birth Control Pills for Men?

If male and female contraception in the form of an injection or a pill are about equally effective and have similar side effects, both ought to be made available to us.

Depersonalization as Philosophical Awareness

By Elena Bezzubova on October 31, 2016 in The Search for Self
Depersonalization can appear as a "philosophical splinter in my head.”. Feeling unreal awakes philosophical awareness and pondering about world, self, consciousness and reality.